100Mbps Ethernet became an IEEE standard in mid-1995. By the end of 1995, a group of vendors had formed the Gigabit Ethernet Consortium and had started work on 1000Mbps Ethernet. They worked at a remarkable pacewithin 13 months, a specification that described gigabit transmission across multimode and single-mode optical fibers and special shielded copper cables had been written and approved by the IEEE 802.3 committee. One piece was missing, though: a specification for Category 5 twisted-pair cabling. This was published in 1999.
At the time of writing, work is proceeding on the next step: 10Gbps Ethernet.
The battle between taking a backward-compatible approach versus using a new technology ended ...